Layla Mays contributor and photographer (laylamays.com)
If you have been searching for a unique dining and cocktail experience in Austin look no further than El Chipiron on South Lamar. Chef Pablo Gomez will supply you with a “culinary and cocktail passport” to his beloved country on a Spanish food and cocktail adventure right here in South Austin.
Paella, tapas, wine and cocktails are my obsessions as you might know if you know me; I’m always on the search for foods with authenticity.
This contemporary yet comfortable Spanish tapas bar and restaurant with a relaxing ambience will whisk you away to Spain, for a little while at least. It is a modern yet casual and unpretentious and the staff is extremely approachable, friendly and knowledgeable.
Chef Pablo cooks with his heart and soul, his Spanish Soul
Recently, I attended a Central Market Cooking Class with Chef Pablo Gomez, owner of El Chipiron and this is where I first met him. As you know, I am a paella chef and caterer and I was excited to have a chance to experience Chef Pablo’s paella and tapas especially since he is Spanish. Of course, the paella was authentic and amazing. Tuesday’s at the restaurant is Paella Night. Don’t miss this opportunity for a authentic traditional paella experience! You’ll believe your in Spain!
Pinchos, Tapas and Spanish Gin and Tonics
In bars and restaurants in Spain, you will feast on unlimited types of small bites with toothpicks, known as tapas or pinchos. These shareable plates are meant to be enjoyed along with local wines or the marvelous Spanish Gin and Tonics.
Drink cocktails the way they do in Spain. The Spanish are very passionate about their take on this classic cocktail kicked-up. Depending on which gin and tonic cocktail you order, each cocktail is infused with varying combination of fresh rosemary, basil, tarragon, orange peel and black peppercorns. They even spice one up another notch with a nod to Austin with a Serrano pepper and cilantro.
The delivery of each plate was perfectly timed just right as we happily grazed and sipped our way through the menu and enjoyed every single sip and bite. Check out the following photos and descriptions of our Spanish culinary experience at El Chipiron. The food was perfectly cooked and expertly seasoned, the cheese board was ample and featured some of Spain’s best known cheeses and pickled vegetables (including pickled grapes!) and the cocktails were absolutely front and center for flavor and creativity.
Austin is lucky that Chef Pablo chose us for his home and to share his food and cocktail culture with us.
Paella Cooking Class Night at Central Market with Chef Pablo Gomez
You can choose an infused Spanish Gin and Tonic with Antique (aged) Gin where the glass is smoked, covered and delivered to the table for you to see the smoke.
Alkemist, Fevertree elderflower tonic, cardamom, juniper, peppercorn, lemon, rosemary, smoked glass
Alkemist, Fevertree mediterranean tonic, lime, cucumber, cardamom, peppercorn, mint
La Pelagrosa: Dripping springs, Fevertree mediterranean tonic, serrano, cilantro, lemon, peppercorn, juniper, cucumber
El Tejano: Dripping Springs, Fevertree indian tonic, cinnamon, rosemary, star anise, peppercorn, orange, smoked glass
Cheese Board: Manchego, Mahon, Valdeon, Marmalade Pickled Vegetables including Pickled Grapes and Crunchy Chiabatta-style Bread
Arroz Caldoso de Marisco: Bomba Rice Chorizo Saffron Albarino (Wine) Shrimp Mussels bathed in an intensely flavored fish stock
Striped Bass with Crispy Skin Crispy Potatoes Cilantro Verde Sauce Sautéed Radishes
Empanadillas de patata y chorizo and empanadillas de queso y verduras
Patata Brava Sauce and Ali-0li: Fried Potatoes covered in Brava Sauce with Creamy Spanish Garlic Mayonnaise
Rabas de Chipiron al Pimenton: Fried Calamari Paprika Grilled Lime
Carrilleras Estofadas al Vino Tinto: Black Angus Beef Cheeks with Red Wine Potato Puree and Basil Oil